The following letter has been redacted to protect my daughter.
As of February I have not received so much as an acknowledgement of receipt from anyone except the California State Board of Psychology. I received a letter advising me that Sue Mayo is not licensed through that Board.
With an undergraduate degree from Ithaca in Theatre Production (BFA) and a Master’s degree from JFK, she is a two-year trained social worker and licensed through the Board of Behavioral Sciences (Ann Glassmoyer, Investigator). I will continue to update this site with the progress of this investigation.
My letter is as follows.
January 1, 2014
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY
FAMILY COURT SERVICES
751 Pine Street
P.O. Box 911
Martinez, California 94553
Regarding: Case number D13-XXXXX, specifically with regard to a report by Sue Mayo dated X-X-13
Dear Mr. Paulsen:
I am writing in formal complaint to the handling and subsequent report by Sue Mayo of your office on my case. It is my intention to also file a formal complaint with the state licensing board as I believe lines were crossed with regard to Ms. Mayo’s conduct.
As one doesn’t go back to the same well of injustice, it is unlikely within the state’s ability to unravel the harm her report has caused my family and myself, especially my XX-year-old daughter. That being said, this letter is to simply advise you of the great detriment Ms. Mayo’s rather lengthy, however misguided, recommendation was as measured by events of the last 6 months, and in hopes such reporting may be avoided for other families in the future.
Portions of her report were so out of line that they were struck by the court. At trial, Judge Stuart White urged that something be done post haste to reunite me with my daughter and expedite a trial date. However, that date was stalled due to delay tactics by the opposing side, further aided by Ms. Mayo’s report setting in motion a perfect storm isolating my daughter from her family.
I was stunned at its tone, references, insinuation and projection of parenting skills from a 90-minute interview in which she wasn’t even in the same room. As well, Ms. Mayo’s choice of references to include and exclude from the court documents seemed at the least, disingenuous, perhaps even agenda-based. The question remains: What facts led Ms. Mayo to her conclusions?
The net result of Ms. Mayo’s report
At present time and as predicted, I have not seen, nor heard from my daughter, XXXXX, in the months since Ms. Mayo’s report. She is living in a rental with her father in a gated community. As well, neither her 3 brothers with whom she was raised, nor their families including XXXXX’s nieces and nephews have heard from XXXXX in as many months. She has missed at least 2 family trips and all holiday gatherings.
I have received nothing with regard to notice of doctor’s appointments, medication, therapy sessions, updates or otherwise. Interesting to note and without exception, every one of the doctors XXXXX had from childhood have been changed. This is XXXXX’s senior year and the events and planning that come with impending graduation and college are non-existent.
A classic case of alienation formally aided by Ms. Mayo
XXXXX was identified as a “young” XX-year-old “who feels isolated” by Lois Gradwell, the therapist Mr. XXXXXXX secretly began taking XXXXX to some months ago. If this therapist was in XXXXX’s best interest why does she share a suite with Mr. XXXXXXX’s sex addict doctor and why was it kept a secret from me, her mother? The only issue we had prior to Mr. XXXXXXX’s well-orchestrated campaign of alienation was his constant triangulation of my daughter and myself. I subsequently uncovered even more such evidence from his old cell phone. His childish text messages to XXXXX called me derogatory names and advised XXXXXX that I “lie regularly,” and “never trust your mother.”
Ironically, that same text chain was precipitated by Mr. XXXXXXX asking where XXXXX was; she replied that she and I were getting a pedicure. He then began to berate me via text to XXXXX’s silence. While illuminating, it showed me just how maniacal and manipulative Mr. XXXXXXX had become; manipulation that I would have hoped a professional, third-party court mediator might have detected. XXXXX also left 2 rather detailed diaries behind.
In June, XXXXX advised her father that she was going to continue to live with me at home and visit him. As it turned out, this was the lynchpin that set off a thinly-veiled Temporary Restraining Order in which I was removed from my home on Friday and the following day, Mr. XXXXXXX (my now ex-husband from a 6-year marriage) pulled up with a pre-arranged moving van to remove, with utter abandon, its contents, XXXXX by his side. To assure he got everything, he hired a locksmith to break into my home office and the bedroom I had occupied for the last months. (Supporting receipts are in my court file.)
The pivotal facts mentioned in the now-dismissed TRO were spun off a “sinus infection,” with no mention of domestic violence. The TRO proved simply another of Mr. XXXXXXX’s Google-searched legal maneuvers. (As he wrote in his porn manifesto included in our filings/attachments, he does love the Internet hunt!)
The damage he has caused to the parental bond XXXXX and I had in order to further his own cause is without measure, but classic for a self-involved addict and narcissist.
Most confusing is the long and well-documented sexual addiction that Mr. XXXXXXX has struggled with his entire life. I was, at best, perplexed when Ms. Mayo advised me in our only session that Mr. XXXXXXX is permitted to look at whatever he chooses (sic. child pornography) as long as XXXXX doesn’t stumble on to it. Within the same court documents to which Ms. Mayo otherwise referenced, she mysteriously omitted the following attachments (1) multiple pages in Mr. XXXXXXX’s own handwriting stating that he has a life-long porn issue, (2) a number of AMEX receipts from a card solely in his name to a posting board identified for child porn, and (3) a screen capture of Mr. XXXXXXX’s text apology for getting caught with the child porn with a specific reference to the posting board after I advised him I was divorcing him for said.
Despite these missing references, Ms. Mayo’s response as memorialize in her report was to call my “accusations suspicious,” at best. Regardless of Ms. Mayo’s personal view of child pornography or her assumption of rights to the viewer, I specifically request a reference to the clinical research that shows that abruptly removing an adolescent from her home and isolating her with a man with such a known addiction, away from the family and mother with whom she was raised, presents a good outcome.
There is a long trail of my meeting with priests and counselors, and credit card receipts stemming from Mr. XXXXXXX’s addiction. Collapsed businesses line Mr. XXXXXXX’s history dating back to the 1990s; old business partners, to this day, recall the severity of his problem with pornography and its impact on Mr. XXXXXXX’s ability to function such as XXX XXXX, founder and attorney at XXXX & XXXXXXX in Virginia. It is the sole reason for this divorce. At the very least this should have been a consideration to protect, even nurture, my parental participation in continuing to raise my daughter.
Regardless of Ms. Mayo’s predispositions, I do get to choose what I want and don’t want in my marriage, and the environment in which I raise my children. My parenting style, religious beliefs or otherwise, are not under Ms. Mayo’s or the state’s directive. Contrary to Ms. Mayo’s report, I am not XXXXX’s coach. I am her mother. It is not Ms. Mayo’s definition of parenting or opinions on social mores that guide me. What is it doing in my report?
I am certain I was a sentry, of sorts, on Mr. XXXXXXX’s addition. He resented his own inability to control his addiction and would violently explode when caught, reframing it as my “tracking” him. Obviously my effort, mostly with concern for my daughter, was without success. Thanks to an unabashed boost from Ms. Mayo, he has now been unfettered for months in clear line of sight of my daughter.
Evidenced by her report, Ms. Mayo and I do not ascribe to similar beliefs on many issues. It’s not necessary that we do. Personal beliefs and veiled agenda have no place in a clinically sound, professional report, especially one prepared on behalf of the state. Psychology is based on measured outcomes, not antidotal bias (an argument Mr. XXXXXXX and I had on the many occasions as he deems the field of psychology, quackery.) I am astounded at the ease in which he so easily staged and manipulated this report to my daughter’s detriment. How disheartening.
Bonus: psychological assessment in 90-minutes or less while the mediator spends the entire session in the other room, only to show up at the end and insist I have an escort to my car
Lastly, Ms. Mayo’s recommendation that I relearn to be a “coach” instead of a mother is off base on so many levels it’s a challenge to know where to begin. She’s entitled to her opinion but she’s off the mark as a mediator; the arrogance of such unfiltered, baseless opinion formalized in a report is unnerving.
XXXXX is my fourth child. I successfully raised 3 boys before her; 2 of which were adopted and for which I went through extensive screening. Mr. XXXXXXX, on the other hand, has 3 sons in Virginia whom he has seen less than a dozen times in 15 years (4 of those times were funerals or marriages). He owes 6-figures in child support and the only such check he ever wrote for those kids was returned for insufficient funds. (I can produce documents to support all statements in this letter upon request including copies of checks I have written to his children as recently as the last 2 years.)
I single-handedly went through a pregnancy with 3 young sons, and raised XXXXX the first years of her life without any type of help or presence from Mr. XXXXXXX. Instead, he was holed up in an apartment struggling with a porn addiction and acknowledged to no one that he even had a daughter. On a clear-minded day, Mr. XXXXXXX has himself attributed a number of failed businesses and relationships to his addiction.
I’m a fan of redemption but there is no rehabilitation here, just a long line of failures and deception. What is new to me is that the state does not have at least a baseline of protocol to assure that kids like my daughter do not become victims, unintended as it may be.
As a result of Ms. Mayo’s assumptions, XXXXX has been isolated from her family. Please re-train Ms. Mayo. Lighten her caseload. Take action; whatever you see fit to avoid this pain for other families. It’s tragic that it had to happen to mine.
cc: California State Board of Psychology, STAND Advocacy, Child Protective Services, Maureen Bryan-Furguson